Report: Google Faces Record EU Antitrust Fine for Search Abuses

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Google reportedly faces a record fine as the European Commission's antitrust investigation comes to a close.

According to The Telegraph, the EU will levy a $3.4 billion penalty against the tech titan for allegedly abusing its position in the search market.

As the Telegraph notes, that's nearly triple the price paid by Intel in 2014, after the European Commission found the US chipmaker abused its power by offering rebates to manufacturers that favored its products. At the time, the €1.06 billion fine against the microprocessor firm marked the highest antitrust penalty handed out by the EU to a single company.

But Google may soon break that record; The Telegraph, citing "sources close to the situation" tipped a final announcement as early as next month. Alongside the hefty fine, Google will reportedly also be banned from further manipulating search results to favor its own products and demote rivals.

Google and the European Commission declined PCMag's request for comment.

The European Commission in April 2015 formally accused Google of abusing its power when it comes to search.

But the battle began in 2010, when the EU—under former competition chief Joaquín Almunia—opened an antitrust investigation into Google over allegations that the company abused its dominant position in online search.

In 2014, the commission announced a deal whereby Google would feature links to competitors' services in its results, as well as make it easier for advertisers and publishers to work with competing firms. Almunia, however, later re-opened the case after a number of Google rivals requested further concessions.

Across the pond, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2013 found that Google did not unfairly manipulate its search results to highlight its own products and demote competing firms. There was some debate over that investigation when documents relating to the case were leaked, but the FTC denied any wrongdoing.

The US agency, meanwhile, recently extended its probe into Google's Android business—as did the EU, which last month filed charges over anti-competitive behavior related to the mobile operating system.

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